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Lisa Reyes, Administrative Services & Operations, Solano County Office of Education

Solano County Office of Education board holds special meeting – Times Herald

By Richard Bammer

Solano County Office of Education leaders, when they meet tonight in Fairfield, will face a relatively light agenda, followed by a special meeting and a closed hearing.

Nicola Parr, director of student and program support, will update the seven-member board on the SCOE’s Local Control Accountability Plan, a key part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula. LCAPs are annual documents that guide virtually all of a school district’s spending, especially for English learners, low-income students and foster youth.

Parr will note the stakeholders “engagement process,” to include the frequency of meetings with parents, students, staff and foster youth advocates.

Additionally, she will note a pending Career Technical Education advisory meeting, to include a guest speaker who will offer an update on the economic climate for the North Bay; input from local businesses about the skills they want in graduates, among other things.

Source: Solano County Office of Education board holds special meeting

Open enrollment continues at Sierra Vista, Kairos – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Two Vacaville schools continue to accept applications during their open enrollment periods for the 2018-19 academic year.

At Sierra Vista K-8 School, 301 Bel Air Drive, completed packets must be returned to the main office at the close of business Friday.

School officials made the announcement in a flier and on their website, https://sierravista.schooloop.com.

Any packets turned in after Friday will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

If the number of students interested in enrolling exceeds capacity, they will be enrolled in order of enrollment priority grouping “per our priorities,” according to wording on the flier attributable to Principal Catherine Bozzini.

Source: Open enrollment continues at Sierra Vista, Kairos

Benicia High School debate team preps for State Qualifiers – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The Winter Olympics are taking place right now, but it is not just athletes who are practicing to do their best to compete. Just ask Benicia High School’s Debate Team.

The team will be taking part in the Golden Gate Speech Association’s State Qualifiers at James Logan High School in Union City on Sunday, March 3. To raise money for participation in the event, the team will be hosting a Debate Night at BHS this Friday.

The Debate Team’s competitions are another step forward for Benicia High’s growing speech and debate program, which started as a class taught by Michele Gaines last year and spun off a student club which hosted a series of lunchtime debates known as Debate Week.Rayna Fitzgerald, a senior, said she was recruited by then-club leader Timothy Knox for Debate Week. Fitzgerald had participated in in-class debates during Gaines’ Advanced Placement Language and Composition class, but she had never officially debated before that.“It was my first time debating in front of a more public audience,” she said. “I really ended up enjoying it. I would say it’s transformed into one of my passions.”Senior Morgan Bundy was also introduced to public speech through Gaines’ AP Lang class, then took part in the lunchtime debates and is now in the speech and debate class.“I’ve always been opinionated, but I’ve never been able to formally debate issues,” she said. “That’s why I thought the speech and debate class would be interesting.”Senior Juan Salinas was also recruited by Knox to debate. He felt his first debate was not very strong, but he liked the idea of doing research on issues and being able to speak in front of an audience.

Source: Benicia High School debate team preps for State Qualifiers

BHS holds fundraiser for paralyzed wrestler – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

For the past few weeks, Benicia High School has been raising money fora severely injured wrestler from Pleasant Hill.

On Jan. 10, College Park High School sophomore Ryan Joseph sufferedan injury to his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the neck downand affecting his ability to breathe and speak on his own. He wastransferred to John Muir Medical Center’s trauma department andrecently moved over to Craig Hospital in Colorado, where he isreceiving specialized treatment. As of his most recent prognosis, hehas regained the ability to speak and has practiced breathing withouta ventilator.

Friends of Joseph established a GoFundMe page to help his family payfor medical expenses, rehabilitation and accessibility. The campaignhas raised more than $183,000, and nearby high schools, includingBenicia High, have found ways to support Joseph and his family.Craig Holden, Benicia High’s athletic director, said he had becomeaware of Joseph’s story through word of mouth, namely Facebook postsand at a meeting for athletic directors in the North Coast Section,the league which College Park High competes in and which Benicia Highis moving to next year. The next day, on Jan. 18, Benicia High wasgoing to have a dual wrestling match against Fairfield High School,and the athletics department decided it would be a good opportunity tosupport Joseph.

Source: BHS holds fundraiser for paralyzed wrestler

Employee contracts on Travis Unified School District agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Routine approval of new employee contracts and three reports — the California School Dashboard, Federal Impact Aid, and projected enrollment — are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

The five-member governing board is expected to OK a teachers wage-and-benefits pact for the 2017-18 year, retroactive to Jan. 1.

District officials and negotiators for the 285-member Travis Unified Teachers Association huddled periodically for more than eight months before agreeing, last month, to a 3.25 percent wage hike and $100 per month in health benefits, or about 3.75 percent overall salary increase. Additionally, workday hours were established for district psychologists program specialists, and nurses. The agreement will add $1.2 million to the district’s expenses during the contract year, according to agenda documents.

Source: Employee contracts on Travis Unified School District agenda

Trump Seeks to Cut Education Budget by 5 Percent – Education Week

By Andrew Ujifusa

President Donald Trump is seeking a roughly 5 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Education’s budget for fiscal 2019 in a proposal that also mirrors his spending plan from last year by seeking to eliminate a major teacher-focused grant and to expand school choice.

Trump’s proposed budget, released Monday, would provide the Education Department with $63.2 billion in discretionary aid, a $3.6 billion cut—or 5.3 percent— from current spending levels, for the budget year starting Oct. 1. That’s actually less of a cut than what the president sought for fiscal 2018, when he proposed slashing $9.2 billion—or 13.5 percent—from the department.

In order to achieve those proposed spending cuts, the president copied two major education cuts he proposed last year: the elimination of Title II teacher grants and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Those two cuts combined would come to about $3.1 billion from current levels. Overall, 39 discretionary programs would be cut, eliminated, or “streamlined.”

Source: Trump Seeks to Cut Education Budget by 5 Percent, Expand School Choice Push – Politics K-12 – Education Week

The Fairfield Host Lions Club Community Service Foundation Student Speaker Winner is from Vanden!

By Community Contributor

The Fairfield HOST Lions Club Community Service Foundation held their local California Lions Club 81st Student Speaker Contest this afternoon, Wednesday February 7th.

After the Student’s gave their presentation and the scores were tallied the Fairfield HOST Lions are pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s contest is ALEXANDRA ADAMS, a Senior at Vanden High School.

The Finalist all gave great presentations and their hard work showed.

The other participants in today’s contest were Jade Vanta and Kalia Dumheller from Fairfield High, Ramil Chettfour and Victoria Lawson from Armijo High and Zachariah Winn from Vacaville Heritage Park.


Sullivan seeks Vacaville City Council seat – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Nolan Sullivan, a former Vacaville Unified trustee and a longtime Yolo County manager, plans to run for one of two Vacaville City Council seats up for grabs on Nov. 6.

A lifelong Vacaville resident, he will seek the seat currently held by Curtis Hunt, who has indicated he will not seek re-election, Sullivan noted in a press release.

“I have lived in Vacaville my entire life and I truly feel this is my moment to step up,” he wrote in the prepared statement.

Sullivan’s resume of public service and volunteer work is extensive.

Within the past decade, he has served on several nonprofit boards, notably as president of the Vacaville Public Education Foundation for eight years, helping to raise thousands of dollars for local public schools.

Source: Sullivan seeks Vacaville City Council seat

Title shift for abandoned right of way gets Fairfield-Suisun district OK – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Accepting title from Suisun City to an abandoned right of way needed for a new building at Fairview Elementary School won approval Thursday from Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees.

A survey during design and development for a new administration and kindergarten building at the school on First Street in Fairfield identified the waterline right of way in the area best suited for the new building, a school district staff report said.

Because the waterline associated with the right of way was believed to be abandoned, the district asked the Suisun-Solano Water Authority to investigate, the report said.

Suisun City Council members at their Jan. 16 meeting, acting as the water authority, passed a resolution relinquishing the city’s interest in the waterline easement to the school district and allowing removal of the easement.

Source: Title shift for abandoned right of way gets Fairfield-Suisun district OK

Some Solano govt. offices shut down for holiday – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Some government offices and schools will be open Monday while others will close to observe the federal holiday.

Solano County offices and the courts are closed Monday in observance of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and again Feb. 19 in observance of George Washington’s birthday.

Schools in the Fairfield-Suisun School District are closed both Mondays. Schools in the Vacaville School District are open Monday but will close Feb. 19-23 to observe Presidents Week. Schools in Vallejo are open Monday but closed Feb. 19. Schools in Dixon will be closed Friday and again Feb. 19 to observe the Presidents Day holiday. Schools in Benicia are closed both Monday and Feb. 19.

Source: Some Solano govt. office shut down for holiday

Solano 4-H SET program offers teens training workshop – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

High school students are invited to participate in the Solano County 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology program, which offers a chance for teens to engage in community service, learn new skills and experience teaching firsthand.

Program participants will be trained to teach science in teams to elementary-age children in after-school programs.

Training will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday at the 4-H office, 501 Texas St. Teens must attend both days. The deadline to register is Friday.

Source: Solano 4-H SET program offers teens training workshop

Education and Marijuana – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) is offering resources aimed at preventing those under 21 from using marijuana, something even more important now that Proposition 64 has taken effect.

Proposition 64, besides legalizing the recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 and older, creates a tax on cannabis for wholesalers, retailers, and purchasers of cannabis and cannabis products. Eventually, some of these tax funds will be directed by the CDE to promote health, education, and drug prevention.

“This is an excellent time to remind parents, students, educators, administrators, and the public about the detrimental effects of marijuana, especially to the developing brains of children,” Torlakson said. “In this new environment we need to be even more vigilant in making certain school-aged children understand the importance of making healthy decisions. We are committed to making sure that new resources will effectively support schools, families, and communities in this charge.”

Source: Education and Marijuana – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

Tommie Smith at Solano College: ‘I am living Dr. King’s dream’ – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Tommie Smith, who as a U.S. Olympian raised a gloved-fist during the medal ceremony 50 years ago in Mexico City, spoke Thursday at Solano College about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s hope that the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners would one day be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.

“I am living Dr. King’s dream,” Smith said.

A Georgia resident, Smith noted King during his “I have a dream” speech in 1963 referred to the red hills of Georgia as the site for that table of brotherhood.

Source: Tommie Smith at Solano College: ‘I am living Dr. King’s dream’

SELPA seeks nominations for community recognition awards – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Do you know someone who does the extraordinary in their service to students with disabilities?

SELPA Community Advisory Committee members are seeking nominations for their 12th annual Recognition Awards event.

Nominations, due Feb. 16, may be submitted online at www.solanocountyselpa.net.

The CAC awards are given to educators, youth, and community members for outstanding service “who go above and beyond in service of students with disabilities,” Kanani Cherry, SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area) coordinator for Solano County, noted in a press release issued Wednesday.

Award recipients come from each school district within the local plan area, unified school districts in Vacaville, Dixon, Fairfield, and the Solano County Office of Education.

Source: SELPA seeks nominations for community recognition awards

Four Vikings sign to play football in college – Daily Republic

By Paul Farmer

Sometime this summer Monmouth, Oregon, will be invaded by Vikings.

Three, in fact.

In a backyard National Letter of Intent signing ceremony Wednesday, Vanden High football players Matt Casner, Luis Vicino and Israel White signed to play for the Western Oregon Wolves, while teammate Armon Bailey committed to play for the Hornets of Sacramento State.

“It’s amazing to see four move on to the next level,” Vikings football coach Sean Murphy said. “They’re all great young men. To watch them grow into the men they’ve become is amazing. It’s just exciting to see what they’ll do in their journey. I’m excited for their future.”

So are the four.

Bailey, the 2017 Solano County Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, said he chose Sacramento State because “I’m more comfortable there. I have a lot of connections, that it’s close to home and I get to play football”

Source: Four Vikings sign to play football in college

Fairfield-Suisun USD to discuss 2018-19 budget priorities – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A discussion of 2018-19 budget priorities will be among the more significant items of an otherwise relatively light agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Michelle Henson, assistant superintendent of business services, will lead the discussion, which will be based on Gov. Jerry Brown’s $190 billion 2018-19 state budget proposal, released in January and due for revision in May.

Her presentation, casting an eye on the impact of the state’s numbers on the district’s, will come two weeks after she led a budget presentation at the trustees’ Jan. 25 meeting.

Specifically, Henson will note that projected average daily attendance (ADA) funding for the coming year will be about $9,450 for each of the district’s estimated 20,550 students, yielding some $194 million in state funding under Brown’s landmark Local Control Funding Formula. Additionally, she will tell the seven-member governing board, one-time discretionary funds from the current year will account for some $6 million in additional funds spent on students.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District to discuss 2018-19 budget priorities

4 Armijo athletes ink college letters of intent – Daily Republic

By Paul Farmer

Nadiah Martinez of the Armijo HIgh girls soccer team battled older sister Jazmine Carranza, who played for Rodriguez, for two years, but starting next fall they’ll be college teammates.

In a lunchtime National Letter of Intent signing ceremony at Armijo’s E. Gary Vaughn Gymnasium, Martinez and teammates Mikeila Martinez and Abby Wolf, along with Jesse Mercado of the Indians football team, in committing to whom they’ll play for in college.

Nadiah Martinez, no relation to Mikeila, signed to play for Chico State, for whom Carranza started at defender as a freshman for the Wildcats last fall.

Martinez said she chose Chico State because “I went to a few camps there and I fell in love with the campus. It’s a very green campus. That’s what I love.”

Source: 4 Armijo athletes ink college letters of intent

Fairfield Women in Action donate to adult school – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Elizabeth Kolakowski from the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School accepted a check for $500 for a scholarship given to the school during the January meeting of Fairfield Women in Action.

Kolakowski explained that so many students are truly in need of financial assistance in order to take the classes needed to secure a better job through education. The money provided by the women over the years has been used to help many students achieve their goals.

Fairfield Women in Action has been recognized by the Fairfield-Suisun School District administration for the many years of scholarships provided.

Source: Good News: Fairfield Women in Action donate to adult school

Teacher contract goes before Travis school board – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Travis School District board will consider approval of a contract with the Travis Unified Teachers Association when it meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The 2017-18 contract, if approved, includes a pay hike of 3.25 percent, an additional $100 to the district’s monthly contribution to the employee medical benefit and selected adjustments to work schedules. Stipends also will be awarded to the athletic director, leaders of Vanden Robotics and Golden West Robotics, the district library lead, the teacher in charge for alternative education and secondary department chairs, a district document states.

The financial impact for the entire school year is about $1.19 million, the report states.

Source: Teacher contract goes before Travis school board

Committee seeks nominations for those who serve Solano students with disabilities – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Nominations are being accepted for the 12th annual Community Advisory Committee Recognition Awards, recognition given to people who have gone “above and beyond” in their service of students with disabilities.

Awards are presented to educators, youth and community members. Recipients are from each school district within the Solano County Special Education Local Plan Area: Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield-Suisun, Travis and Vacaville, as well as the Solano County Office of Education.

Additionally, a student and representative from a community organization who have demonstrated dedication to supporting people with special needs will be honored.

Source: Committee seeks nominations for those who serve Solano students with disabilities